The Food and Drug Administration recently updated their information on ALCL, including the total number of cases. At the same time, the FDA publicly released a letter to medical providers with improved guidance on diagnosis.
ALCL stands for Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. It is a rare form of lymphoma, in the scar tissue and fluid adjacent to the implant. To date, the FDA has identified 457 cases worldwide; it is estimated that 10 million women in the world have breast implants. It is a very rare disease. At this time, the data suggests that most cases involve textured implants, not smooth ones, and the fill, saline or silicone, is not relevant.
The main symptom of ALCL in women with breast implants is a delayed fluid collection around the breast implant, presenting as significant swelling on the affected side. It is typically found many years after the implant surgery.
If diagnosed early, ALCL can usually be successfully treated by removal of the implant and surrounding scar tissue. If you develop any unusual signs or symptoms any time after you have had breast implant surgery, please contact our office.